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The Ownership of Enterprise

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$48.00 • £41.95 • €43.95

ISBN 9780674001718

Publication Date: 03/15/2000


384 pages

6 x 9 inches

1 line illustration, 6 tables

Belknap Press


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In this remarkable book, Henry Hansmann asks why investor ownership is the dominant but by no means universal form of ownership. His answers provide a masterly demonstration of comparative organizational analysis… A brief review cannot do full justice to the richness, power, and range of Hansmann’s analysis. Scattered throughout are little gems of insight, such as his explanations for why there is not cooperative ownership of utilities in urban areas as there is in many rural areas…for why country clubs are member-owned rather than investor-owned…and for why charities and listener-supported public radio stations are run on a non-profit basis… [This book] is a substantial contribution to organizational sociology.—William Finlay, Contemporary Sociology

In this book Hansmann considers a wide range of different kinds of organizations that are ‘owned’ in different ways… This is a book that both economists, and scholars of organizations more broadly, should find interesting, informative, and provocative. I found it first-rate.—R. R. Nelson, Journal of Economics

[A] fascinating study [which] offer[s] useful insights into why organisations adopt different ownership and control structures… Three broad categories of firms are analysed—producer-owned, customer-owned and non-profit and mutual firms. A series of historical case studies of the development of different industries in which these ownership structures are common, including those of banking and insurance, are then presented.—Ruben Lee, London Financial News

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